Frankincense has been sought after since ancient times

Frankincense has been sought after since ancient times and there are many historical accounts that refer to it. The most famous one is the Bible passage which notes that frankincense was one of the three gifts by the Three Wise Men taken to baby Jesus.

The incense is still highly prized, even in the 21st century, for both religious purposes and also for domestic use. An old custom at large parties in some Arab countries is for the host to arrange for somebody to pass among the guests with an incense burner after coffee. The guests can waft incense towards themselves. This is a sign that it is time to leave. it is common to see men standing near an incense burner and wafting the clouds through their clothes.

Frankincense is a resin

Frankincense (Arabic: al-luban)) is an aromatic resin used in incense and perfumes. Frankincense is obtained from trees of the Boswellia family. which mainly grow in Somalia and Oman. The frankincense tree produces a resin which is collected by making incission into the bark.  The substance is at first fluid and milky white, solidifying into amber “tears”.  It is available in various grades, which depend on the time of harvesting. The resin is then hand-sorted for quality.

Essential oil of Frankincense

Frankincense oil has been called the “the king of essential oils”. It is extracted by steam distillation of the “tears”. The oil is colourless or pale yellow. It has a warm fragrance, which is head-clearing and calming. Frankincense oil has become particularly popular in the past few years as it is used in skin care products and is particularly good for aging skin. It helps with respiratory ailments and relieves nervous tension and stress related disorders. It is also a popular oil for meditation.

To find out more about how Frankincense oil is extracted from the resin watch the video below.



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